Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Quick Update

Here is a quick update on where my 18/15mm Age project is right now. Truth be told 18/15mm is a brand new scale for me and I have very few figures in that scale a present. But I've just ordered armored trolls, pitwolf riders, orcs and Sauron from Khurasan Miniature's Great Enemy line their McBride style Lord of the Rings line of Sauron's forces. You can see the whole current line through this link. I'll be posting up comparisons with the Eureka 18mm figures I have next week.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Last Great Kingdom of the Noldor

 Queen Galadriel painting by Angus McBride
The Noldor where the elves who followed Finwe on the long march to Valinor the Undying Lands they are also call the Deep Elves because they where the wisest in smith craft and lore. Feanor the creator of the Silmarils was of the Noldor and when Meklor stole the Silmarils the Noldor traveled to middle Earth to wage war upon him.  At the beginning of the second age after the fall of Beleriand the elven survivors traveled east to a far land know in the LOTR as Eregion on the western side of the Misty Mountains. There they established Ost-in-Edhil the last great city of the Noldor near Khazad-dum (the Mines of Moria) the great dwarven city. The gate Gandalf opens in the Fellowship of the Ring was the gateway elves used to enter Moria as the Noldor and the dwarves of Moria had a great friendship between them. Many of the great elf lords named in the Lord of the Rings lived in Eregion during this time. Queen Galaderiel and her consort Celeborn founded and ruled the kingdom of Eregion, Elrond dwelt there as did Thrunduil father of Legolas.

 Celebrimbor forging the three rings for the elves painting by Angus McBride
Sauron came to Eregion in a fair disguise calling himself Annatar Lord of Gifts. Galaderiel would not see him she had a foreboding about him but Celebrimbor would. Celebrimbor was the greatest elven smith after Feanor and he lead the Gwaith-i-Mirdain the guild of smiths. Sauron convinced him that he should rule Eregion not Galaderiel and he lead a bloodless coup against her. She seeing a glimpse of the future abdicated her throne peacefully and passed through the dwarf road under the mountain into Lothlorien. Then Sauron and Celebrimbor together forged the Rings of Power. For you see in order to forge the Rings of Power they had to teach each other secret lore that only they knew so that together their collective knowledge was equal to the task. Sauron then returned to Mordor to forge the One Ring alone. When Sauron left Celebrimbor forged the three rings for the elves. When Sauron put the One Ring on his finger both of them discovered they had been deceived thus the War of the Elves and Sauron began.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Who is Sauron?

Painting by Angus McBride
Sauron is a spirit a Maiar one of the lesser spirits that followed the fourteen Valar to Arda (the world) after it was created to give it order and combat the evils of Melkor. The Maiar where also call "the people of" as each of the fourteen Valar had a host of lesser spirits "their people" through which to work their will. Though these creatures were spirits many of them had the ability to take a physical form or had a permeate physical form.
  Painting by Angus McBride
Sauron was the mightiest of the people of Aule the Smith, the Valar of rock and metal who was also the creator of the Dwarves. Melkor did not have a host of spirits who followed him so he recruited followers from the peoples of the other Valar. Sauron became Melkor's greatest follower and chief lieutenant greater even than Gothmog Lord of Balrogs cheif of Melkor's bodyguard. Sauron as the mightiest of the Maiar had the ability to change his shape the shapes he took in the stories were of the forms of a great serpent, a werewolf, a vampire during his titanic battle with Huan the hound of Valinor in the First Age and a fair seeming elf to fool the elves of Eregion during the Second Age. In the Third Age he had lost  his ability to change forms due to the power he lost when he lost the One Ring. The only shape he could muster was that of a great lidless eye. That is the  shape he has during the War of the Ring. As greatest of the people of Aule he had the ability to make things of great power like the Rings of Power and the mighty fortress of Barad-dûr. As the greatest of the followers of Melkor he had the ability fashion creatures of evil he created or improved upon many of the evil creatures that appear in the LOTR trilogy such as, werewolves, half-trolls, Olog-hai, Uruk-hai and the Nazgul. 

Finding the right figure to represent him may seem at first to be a difficult task but he still has his shape shifting ability during the Second Age and his most common shape was that of a "Dark Wizard" so a suitable 15mm figure shouldn't be impossible. Who knows I might even get several different Sauron figures for this game just for the Hell of it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Dark Years

Painting by Angus McBride
The 2nd Age was also know as the Dark Years because this is the Age when Sauron extended his rule over nearly all of Middle Earth. Many nations of men became corrupted and began to worship Sauron as a god. Like the men of the mountain who where cursed for oath breakers for failing to fight for Isuldur as promised. Before they swore friendship with the Numenorians they worshiped Sauron. 
 Painting by Angus McBride
 He raised Barad-dur in Mordor, forged the one ring, subjugated the south lands,
  Painting by Angus McBride
destroyed the garden of the Ent Wives and overran the kingdom of Eregion. 
 During this time men began to refer to him as "The Dark Lord of Mordor". So this then is the time period I wish to game with my 18mm armies, more specifically the War of the Elves and Sauron where Sauron tries to wipe out the elves for making the 3 elf rings in secret there by marring his master plan to rule all of Middle Earth.

Next week I'll start detailing the various creatures and peoples who are involved in this war.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Making Things Diffcult

Yes dear readers I fully intend to make things difficult for myself (I'm always doing that!) I don't just want to fight the great battles of the Second Age in 15/18mm I want to create Middle Earth through the marvelous artistic vision of the late great Angus McBride.

The wraiths amongst us may recall a role playing company called I.C.E. who at the dawn of time put out a role playing game called MERP (Middle Earth Role Play) this children was how the ancients got their LOTR gaming fix. An unknown but talented artist developed the graphic look of this game which had remained for many the "look" of Middle Earth until the Lord of the Rings movies. I have discovered through research that a few companies have McBride style figures in 15mm so I'm going to go for it! Yes this does mean that I will put aside the Eureka movie style figures I bought.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Hobbit : Desolation of Smaug Chronicles Art & Design

Sorry I don't have any progress on the 18mm figures today someone gifted me a copy of this Weta art & design book for the 2nd Hobbit movie. Now when the first Hobbit movie came out I was very disappointed with the movie's designs especially of goblin town and its inhabitants. But I'm happy to say that Weta had kicked the designs up a notch for the 2nd movie.
If you are a wood elf fan the concept art of the wood elf warriors and especially the halls of the elf king are a must have for you. They would make good painting guides for 28mm figures too. Now I'll have to find fantastic 18mm wood elf figures.